Pre Tour

I’m writing from Dobra Tea House in Burlington, VT. I’ve been up here since Monday rehearsing with the band. Tonight is our last rehearsal and tomorrow we fly to L.A.. The band sounds great as we’ve been learning more tunes from Mike’s new CD as well as some interesting cover tunes. Very psyched!

I’m thinking about making the blog entries this tour more about the personal experience of life on the road. There are certainly aspects about tour life that most people take for granted I bet. Things like trying to stay connected with loved ones, missing events at home while away, staying healthy, etc. We’ll see how that goes.

But I wanted to write more about that BreakDownWay.com video experience. They’ve put up another of my lessons btw. Check it out here.

In the beginning of the year I took an acting class. It’s been something that’s been in the back of my mind for years and years. I’ve always thought that acting would be something I could do and enjoy even though I’ve had no experience at all. It was certainly a lot of fun and I definitely learned a ton of useful stuff; useful in a variety of ways. The gains from it have spilled over into all aspects of my life I’d say.

Right after I took the class I got approached by BreakDownWay.com to do a video guitar lesson. They said I’d be the first electric guitarist on the site! I went on the site and checked it out. Very cool! They make great videos but beyond that there are chord charts that line up with the vids and whatnot. It’s all just very well done. So I accepted the offer.

The filming was to be done in NYC all in a single day, about eight hours worth. I put together some notes about different lesson ideas I could do.

It was quite a different experience than what I thought it was going to be. I thought it would be interview style where they’d ask about stuff and I would respond, but instead they set me up, turned on three cameras and said, “Go.”

I found that it took about an hour to get through the notes I had made and I still had hours and hours to go!

I was really nervous! This is where the acting class came in so handy. I was able to focus and get beyond my nerves and really become the instructor I wanted to be. Of course when I watch the videos I look really nervous to me but not as nervous as I actually would have been!

They filmed hours of stuff and now they’re going through that footage and cutting things up into individual lessons. The first lesson was about lead guitar techniques. I talked about some technical stuff in the beginning but I really wanted to focus on something that most instructional videos don’t focus on: expression through improvisation.

It was such a great experience and I’m so glad I did it! I’ve always thought that teaching was a great way to learn but this was teaching me things on many different levels, musically and beyond, and now as I watch the videos after they’re posted I find myself still learning from the experience!

They’ve just put up the second installment which is an instructional about playing my song, “Cruel World” using a looper.

Ok, back to tour…

Of course once we get to L.A. we’ll be on a tour bus traveling all the way across the country. Living on a bus with so many people is always interesting. One thing that I’ve noticed is that we’ve all found our permanent bunk locations. The tour buses have 12 bunks in them, arranged in two rows of three on each side. So they can be divided into groups: bottom, middle and top bunks; front and rear bunks; driver’s side and passenger side bunks.

For the past few tours it seems everybody takes the same bunks as last time even though it’s a different bus each time. Everyone has their preferences. Some won’t take top bunks; some won’t take bottom bunks. Some won’t take rear bunks (too close to the engine).

Mine is always the bottom rear bunk on the driver’s side. I like the bottom because I don’t have to worry about falling out, and it’s very easy to get into; no climbing involved. The rear bunks are noisier but I have no trouble sleeping through noise so I always take a rear bunk.

Today’s question is: which bunk would you take?

Ok, enough for now. See you “out there”…

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22 thoughts on “Pre Tour

  1. I would take the top bunk and line it with bolster pillows on the fall out side.
    If I slept on any of the lower bunks, I would be worried about people above me farting. Wait….gas rises, doesn’t it? Hmmm.

  2. Long roads rambin fast afraid to slow fill’er with petro and chech the oil.. Rambin fast untill I get to town that when I slow.
    Long roads laughing like crows in a daybreaks cord.
    Just like blue jays falling to that forests darkness.
    Long Roads and falling leaves untill we meet again.

    Love
    Mark

  3. definitely a bottom rear bunk, in consideration to others the engines might drown out my snoring and I certainly don’t want to climb… lol have fun Scott!

  4. I like the bottom bunk myself. You save alot of climbing over a few months. Hmm. The noise is always nice to overide the noises I usually hear. Wishing you a good journey,,Keep smiling,,B

  5. defly rear, cuz it would give the semblance of seclusion…no traffic walking by.
    no particular preference on bottom/middle/top. i’ve bunked alot in the white mountain amc huts which also have 3-level bunks, and i’ve tried and liked all the levels for different reasons. the top could be a bit challenging when you really have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night and its pitch dark. (thank goodness for headlamps)

  6. So *that’s* where you’ve been hiding out! Wish I could be in SF for your free show at Ben & Jerry’s. Will there be free ice cream to go along?

  7. Scott, I don’t even play, but I love that website. What a great idea… look out, you’re about to get a lot of new students! I think my bunk would be on the opposite side of the gas and propane tanks, and above the under carriage that stored my gear.

  8. i’d probably take a higher bunk in the rear since i am kinda short. it sounds like you chose very well since you are a tall fella. really cool that right after your acting classes that you got called to do the video work for the guitar instruction—funny how things work. these ‘coincidences’ show up more often in respect to how much we are in alignment with ourselves. when you are on purpose and living an inspired life, there are no accidents. when you’re out there on the road, try to control less and be more allowing to new possibilities. the less you control the more room you make for magic to happen. my fiance’ (Denni) has her 34th birthday this Wednesday at The Crocodile show in Seattle. she absolutely loves Michael McDonald, so if you guys were able to play ‘Taking It To The Streets’ I know she would be in heaven!

    please also let me know if you would like any home made baked goods—cookies, brownies or even fresh fruit. an army travels on its stomach, so we’d love to bring you guys something enjoyable and healthy if possible. thank you so much for traveling all the way out to Seattle to play. since Phish didn’t play The Gorge this year, there’s many a Northwest fan who is jonesin’ to hear Mike and his band. enjoy your day off and see you on Wednesday. Thanks for readin’, Scott!

  9. Bottom rear. I fell out of a top bunk when I was a kid and slept in a top bunk during my drunken college sorority days. And im not as spry as I used to be. Ahh Middle Age.

    Rob ( my old beau who I saw many a Creek show with in the 80’s) and Chris Tivy saw you guys at the Troubadour Saturday night and loved the show and the venue. It had been a while since Rob had seen you. Last time may have been a Max Creek show in Vegas I think he said.

    Having someone videotaping you can be very useful. I video my dance instructor when she teaches new routines and she critiques herself from it to help her improve on her queing etc. You just gotta forget the camera is on.

  10. 9 tour dates gone, a travel day today, and no updates — hope all is well! Perhaps there’s no internet between Omaha and Minneapolis… šŸ˜‰

    Hope you’re having fun, Scott!

  11. no bunk preference – i can sleep anywhere under any circumstances. sure wish i could see you all blow the roof off the westcott theatre. cheers!!!

  12. While standing on the Agora stage, did you ever think you would be a grandfather? Holy crap dude!!! I offer my most sincere best wishes to everyone! What a special gift!

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